> Your sister wringing her hands is not a productive approach
It isn't exactly like that. My niece has even challenged her mother to fight her physically, but at some point it breaks your heart/totally debases you morally having to fight your own baby. It is more than enough having stopped living your own life for two decades in order to dedicate yourself to raising your kids as a single mom without any support whatsoever from their father (another of my niece's themes) and then see your kids actively sabotaging their lives.
My sister even had what seemed to be warning signs of a heart attack (both her arms getting stiff at once) when she got that call from a stranger, that is why she handed the phone to me.
> when someone is as determined to destroy herself as this kid
This is how we see it. Kids don't see it like that. They say (apparently believing it) the most preposterous bs backing it up just with their plenty of hormonally-based (feral?) emotions and/or simply because another "friend" told them so.
My niece's theme when she started wasting her youth was that she was "making a movie about 'traveling'" ("with her friends") ... How does she finance her movie-making career? Well, she stands in places (even at the entrance of supermarkets where everybody knows her/her mother) with a sign saying "she is homeless" ... (and not only doesn't she seem to see anything wrong with that, but she sees it as "making money")
My nephew (her brother), even though he isn't that smart either, at least listens to what you tell him (at the very least he did finish high school). Each time he showed interest about a topic I bought him a good book (which I had read myself hoping to engage him in a conversation (one of the books was Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist", I was trying to have a conversation with him about "walking with your mind vs. walking with 'your feet'")) or told him I would finance his interests to learn about computers in order to get him anchor himself into some topic leading to some kind of professional development instead of wasting his youth being "cool", with "friends", ...
I remember he once told me: "I have a friend who is very smart. He does computers, rents a very expensive apartment downtown, ran into some problem with the FBI, dropped his router into the Miami river and flew to Thailand" ... I wouldn't even know how to begin to parse the nonsense out of that sentence (I am a scientist/technical person myself). The funny thing is that they say that as if it made lots of sense and that was that. I was trying to talk sense into him telling him it was his responsibility to make her notice and let us know when his sister was putting herself in harm's way and he would simply (even "logically"?) ask you (as if making fun of you) "why is she putting herself in harm's way?"
I talked about this with a priest who is a good friend of mine and he confided to me his own daughter told him once she wanted to be a "trophy wife". You would laugh your head off if you knew him. From where do kids get that [email protected]
into their minds?!?!?!? OK, part of it is TV, their "social networks", their "friends" ... but of course they also -freely- choose to believe/articulate in their minds such [email protected]
Nowadays if, say, kids have three hours to play baseball they play 1 hour (for the cameras!) and the rest of the time they spend editing and posting the videos in their "social networks" and flattering each other ...
> I assume she has had access to counseling in the past (not you or your sister but a professional) and has blown it off?
My niece would shun and/or lie to the therapist (of course they notice that), manipulate the conversation ...
> "Here is my last try" ...
You are never quite "done" with your family.
I had the same kinds of problems with my own son even though not to that extent and with the difference that my son would actually argue with me. I used to repeat to him that "you must craft your own angel (on your own)". He started changing by himself at some point, finished high school and is right now halfway through University (as a teacher!). One day he told me: "Dad, now I realize what you meant" (about "my angel"). His aunt (my sister) has asked him about those times and what made him changed, but he doesn't even want to talk "about 'that'"
Thank you very much,